He loves you so good, but does he stay the night?

I often get passion mistaken for love, and when I say often, I mean almost always.

I am so tired of people leaving me feeling more lonely than when they found me. More empty instead of more full. And I really have no one else to blame but myself.

Time and time I again I chase after the type of man that doesn’t want to be caught. That doesn’t want the love I am offering and doesn’t desire what I have to offer.

But why do I do this to myself? Do I enjoy the pain, the heart break or the disappointment?

Am I replacing my past pain with the continuous sting of rejection?

The truth is I don’t need another person to make me whole. But the lie I tell myself is that I do.

I can’t wait until your bitter after taste becomes only a memory. And your smile is something I no longer see as my light, but as a subtle glow in my past. Reminding me that I was my own light all along.

I hope one day you realize how much I could have given you. I hope you smile in my memory, and feel a sting of my long gone laugh echoing through your head.

And if you don’t, I hope you learned a lesson. That a girl with a soft heart is fragile and should be handled with care.

But I also hope you realize that she didn’t end at you. You fed her fire to find someone deserving of what she was to offer.

I hope you one day regret, that your hands explored more of her than your heart ever would.

-A

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What are you choosing to care about?

I am in the middle of reading the book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”. And when I say I’m in the middle of reading it, I mean that I randomly pick it up every once and a while and read a random chapter.

I highly recommend this book, especially to people like me, who care way too much about everything (not to say that isn’t a great characteristic to have).

The chapter I’m on is called: “You Are Always Choosing”. It basically talks about how we are responsible for everything in our lives. We may not always be responsible for what happens to us, but we are ALWAYS responsible for how we react, how we respond and how we move on from events in our life.

The book asked you these questions: “What are you choosing to care about? What values are you choosing to base your actions on? What metrics are you choosing to use to measure your life? And are those good choices, good values and good metrics?”

I really had to step back and think about these answers. I have been feeling very down lately for multiple reasons. Health, friendships and relationships and family.

My health is under control right now. I have not had a seizure in 2 years. I take my medication daily and am getting a prettying decent amount of sleep. I think I could almost choose to care a little more about my health. Getting some sort of exercise every day, eating properly and enough and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.

I have had a hard time with friendships this year. Trying to balance which friendships I should out my time and energy into and which friendships I might need to let go of. I have finally realized that no matter how much love and respect I put into a friendship, that doesn’t mean I will receive the same back. I can’t choose how people treat me, but I can choose how I react to their treatment, and unfortunately, I have had to choose to let go of some people recently. I need to focus on the friendships that I have in my life and putting my attention and energy into making those friendships the strongest I can.

Relationships. It is completely my fault that I keep going back to the people that have hurt me, or a certain type of person that will end up hurting me in the end. I cannot allow myself to do this anymore. It’s no healthy, fair or beneficial to me. Being lonely is not a good enough reason to allow people to walk all over me. Never allow someone to make you an option when you’re making them a priority in your life.

Am I happy right now?

My short answer would be no. I feel lost, negative, ran down and stuck. But when I take a step and think about how I’m measuring this question, is the answer actually no?

I have a great group of friends. Friends that check on me and want the best for me. I can’t be friends with everyone. That’s just how life works. I am healthy and haven’t had a seizure in 2 years. I can’t predict or worry about the future when all I can do is concentrate on the now and doing everything I can to promote a healthy future. In relationships, I am the one who sets the standards of how people treat me. I need to stop accepting anything less than I deserve and if that means that I need to let people go, I need to accept this and trust that if these people want to be in my life, they will fight to be there.

I know this post was a huge ramble. Really, it was a post mostly for me to see that I can control whether I allow myself to continue to be sad and negative, or I can snap out of it and realize that I have people that love me in my life. I have people that want to see me succeed and want to see me smile.

It’s okay to have bad days. But it’s important that a bad day does not mean a bad life.

-A

Choose Yourself

I was about to write a negative post about falling for someone who doesn’t like you in return. I mean which one of us hasn’t been there? Regardless if you’re a male or female, I guarantee it’s happened to you. And it sucks. It sucks big time.

The feeling in the pit of your stomach that lingers and the pain of rejection echoes through your head.

But why do I need to continue to throw myself pity parties, when it’s already taken up enough of my time, energy, emotions and in reality, sanity.

I have worked too hard on loving myself over these past couple years. It’s not worth sacrificing that.

So here I am. I can say all these things, but my heart doesn’t hurt less. I won’t get the time and energy back that I put into this person or the false future I created in my head. I still want to talk to them, ask them how their day was and tell them about mine. And I still feel an emptiness in my bed. I will still answer texts, snaps and simple “hellos” because the pain of not having this person in my life at all is even worse than the pain of knowing I will never have this person to myself.

But none of that means I should continue to accept their poor treatment, half love or inconsistent attention. I shouldn’t believe that I only deserve a part of a person, but I truly deserve an entire person. Their full attention. Their full love. I don’t deserve to be kept secret. Only seen late at night in the dark. I shouldn’t be cared or thought about only when it is convenient. I shouldn’t be an option only when they are bored.

I set the bar of how other people are going to treat me and what kind of treatment I’m going to accept.

I can’t control how other people act or treat me but I can control my choices.

Change

Someone asked me tonight: “What’s changed in you?”.

That’s a loaded question because a lot has changed in me.

Over this past year, I’ve finally begun to love myself. I finally understand what happened to me in my past and the way I was treated was not okay. I have realized that I deserve to have people in my life that lift me up, that ask me how my day is, and when the answer isn’t ‘amazing’, they help me figure out ways to change that. This year, I have learned how to say ‘no’ to the things that no longer help me grow. I’ve learnt to let things and people go if they don’t bring the best out of me. I’ve learnt that life is hard and it doesn’t get easier the older you get, you just get stronger. This year I’ve stopped trying to be anyone else, but my annoying and goofy self.

In reality, this person wasn’t asking for this answer, in fact, I am pretty damn sure they knew the answer, they just wanted me to say it. They wanted me to realize it.

So to this person, who I know will never read this, my answer to you is this:

“I have not changed, I am the nice girl with a big heart, waiting for someone who will finally appreciate and see my time is equal to theirs. I am the girl who would bend over backwards to make another person simply smile, even if it breaks my heart to do so. I am the girl that would settle being your second, third or even last thought of the day, as long as it meant I would possibly be a thought in your head. But lastly I am the girl, who finally realizes that I don’t deserve to be someone’s second option, I deserve to be someones first and only.”

-A

What I’ve Learned From Dating in My 20s

If you know me or follow any type of my social media, you may know that I’m pretty quick to make fun of my dating life. Making jokes about the situations I’ve gotten myself into constantly and consistently, time and time again.

I ignore what’s literally in front of me, and let my mind create situations or false futures instead of seeing the signs of future heartbreaks.

At least I can laugh about it (now) right??

So here we are. I’m going to share what I’ve learnt through past relationships, heartbreaks, hookups and everything in between as I’ve dated through my 20s.

1) I’m going to start with the most important thing I’ve learnt over the years. It is that if you can’t love yourself, no else will be able to either. I read this quote the other day and it really stayed to me:

“I think the problem is that we depend on our lovers to love us the way we should love ourselves”

Av.

Our society constantly relies on other people to tell us we are doing a good job or to tell us we’re beautiful and smart when really all we should be telling ourselves these things every day. If I can’t love myself with all my imperfections and loose ends, how should I expect another person too? I can’t. Simple as that.

2) The next thing I’ve learnt is you can’t try and change for someone and someone should never have to change for you. Trying to change yourself for someone else, will only result in you being unhappy in the relationship because you’re constantly trying to be something or someone you’re not. Expecting someone to change for you is unrealistic and cruel because then you technically don’t even like the person they are, you like the person they could be.

3) Age difference doesn’t matter, but maturity level does. With my parents being 10 years apart, age has never really affected whether or not I like a person, but I’ve now learnt that age does and will play a factor no matter how hard you try and deny it. It’s either going to be something you can work through or be a constant burden.

4) You can’t love someone into loving you.

5) You can love someone with your entire heart, but if they still love their ex., there’s no hope, no matter what you do or how hard you try.

6) IF THEY WANT TO TALK TO YOU, THEY WILL. If they want to make time for you, they will. If they want to make it work, they will.

7) Trust the key to a successful relationship. If you can’t build your relationship with a base of trust, you won’t be able to build it very far off the ground.

8) Don’t be unfaithful (this is the tip my teenage youth gave me when I asked). Cheating benefits no one. If your mind is wondering, you shouldn’t be with the person you’re with. That’s not fair to the significant other or even to yourself. If you lacking something in your relationship, whether that is on an emotional level or physical level, express this to the person you’re in a relationship with, don’t go seeking it from other resources.

9) Honesty is key. If you can’t be honest about what you want, what you like, what you’re expecting, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

10) If your significant other isn’t your best friend, you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t laugh at the same things, or goof around with each other, the relationship will get boring real quick.

11) It’s not who you want to spend Saturday night with, it’s about who you want to spend all day Sunday with doing absolutely nothing but enjoying every second of it.

12) If you want commitment and a future, don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t share the same interests as you.

13) You’re not always going to get the closure you may need and want, and that’s just something you have to learn to accept.

14) Don’t waste your time trying to make someone feel bad about how they treated you, because most of the time they honestly just don’t care and you’ll end up wasting more of your time. The best thing you can do is walk away and not look back.

15) Desire and value do not go hand in hand. Just because a person desires you, does not mean they will value you. If they don’t value you, they don’t deserve you. You will only be an option if you allow yourself to be.

I am no dating expert, but I’ve learnt a few things along the way. I will forever remain the hopeless romantic I label myself as, even though I often get caught up in convenience and being comfortable. I think it’s the person that pushes you outside your boundaries, the person that you feel most like yourself with and the person that’s not only there for the good times but also the bad, that will make the best partner. I can’t wait to find this person.

-Ash

(10 Shitty Dating Truths You Must Accept If You Want To Find Love)

Dating a Person With an Alcoholic Parent

People joke with me all the time about being single.

“Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” “Why are you always single?” “Why don’t you ever give anyone a chance?”

I never really thought about it much actually. I easily blame my extremely busy schedule as a contributing factor and the fact I “just haven’t met anyone that’s worth giving up my free time too”. It’s not like I don’t ‘date’. I do. But I usually find myself caught in situations that aren’t benefiting me, with people that I find to be quite pessimistic or someone who doesn’t have the same intentions as I do.

When dating, I am the kind of person who knows right away if I’m going to get along with you. To other people (even my friends), this sounds crazy. But if I know we aren’t going to click, I’m not going to spend time trying to make it work.

Okay, after a little background on my single AF self, we can get to the point of this blog post. In my line of work, I am constantly reminding myself that the negative and sometimes harsh actions of my youth/clients are due to the trauma and situations they grew up in. I never thought to do that with myself. I’ve never stepped back and wondered why I do certain things and why I gravitate towards certain people.

I started doing some research on what having an alcoholic parent can do to the child and what effects it may have. I was surprised at how many interesting and relatable articles I found, especially when it comes to dating. I never really thought that this part of my life could affect my dating life. That might be naive of me to think because there are other more noticeable things in my life that having addiction in my life affects, like the constant need for control and acceptance.

Here are some of the main points I picked up from the research I did:

  1. Control. A child of an addict has seen how addiction can take all control away from a person. This child will then constantly want to control all aspects of their life. In dating this becomes difficult. When you date a person, you have to give up some control and trust to another person. This can not only be difficult, but also frustrating. Something as simple as cancelled plans may be triggering or seen as a much bigger deal because an addicts child has gone through a lot of cancelled plans. When we give up control, this means a lot.
  2. Burdens. A child of an addict is used to carrying around others burdens with them. It is something that we may have done for so long, we don’t even realize we are doing it anymore. You might not see this right away, but eventually, it will come out. You will see us get dragged down and worn out from doing so, but you will also see the strength it takes for us to get back up.
  3. Patience. It takes a lot of patience and time to love someone who has felt the pain of addiction. It takes time for us to open up and trust you. It takes patience to understand why our brains may work the way they do. It also takes understanding and consideration to get why we may react differently in some situations than ‘normal’ people do.
  4. Fun Over Attachment. Children of addicts often seek out fun relationships compared to deep and meaning full relationships. We fearful of getting attached to someone. Something that is fun and service level is easy to let go of and run away from whereas a more deep relationship makes so vulnerable and susceptible to being hurt.
  5. People That Need Saving. People who have dealt with addiction sometimes gravitate to people we think ‘need to be saved’. We take it upon ourselves to change and save this person. If they eventually do, we will prove to ourselves we are worth love and worth getting the validation for doing so.
  6. Emotions. Drastic and quick changes in emotions are something children of addicts are used to and have most likely picked this trait up. We are aware of this and blame ourselves for it. We think they are broken and defective. We are used to feeling loved one second and hated the next. Inconsistent emotions and feelings are something we are used to, please be patient with us.
  7. Grief. Children of addicts are grieving. Grieving lost memories, forgotten birthdays, ruined holidays, memorable moments they were skipped, etc. The thing is, we are good at hiding this grief. It doesn’t come out often, but it will. When it does be supportive.
  8. Can’t Say Goodbye. Breakups and goodbyes are not easy for children of addicts. If we’ve opened up to you and shown you a side of us we don’t often show people, we won’t ever want to let you go. We have been programmed to continuously try and make a relationship work, even through abusive situations. If you feel the relationship is toxic, it may be up to you to walk away, because quite often the child of an addict won’t be able to.
  9. Affirmation. Children of addicts are always looking to be told we’re going something right. While growing up, this aspect might have been skipped. So now that we’re older, we will do things to get the affirmation we desperately needed when we were younger.

    Articles I used:
    Children of Alcoholics Have Intimacy Issues
    Dating The Child Of An Alcoholic
    5 Things You Need To Know About Loving The Adult Child Of An Alcoholic Parent

    -Ash

The Green-Eyed Monster

I am not a very jealous person, I never really have been. I’m also not a very competitive person, which is why I would have never survived as a professional dancer. My sister and I, though similar in age and appearance, grew up liking completely different things. I was into dance, she was into basketball and track. She used to only wear her hair straight, whereas I also had mine curly. We even have very different taste in boys and have never once fought over something in regards to this (though believe me, boys have tried to stir the pot). So I never really grew up having the need to be jealous of anything. I worked hard for the things I got in life, the positions I got put in for dancing and the opportunities I got from cheerleading.

Not until recently, have I truly tasted the bitterness of jealousy and the flood of guilt that it has also brought me. This feeling has taken a hold of me for much longer than I would like. I don’t like to admit to something like this, because jealousy is often looked at as a weakness and that’s exactly how I have been viewing it. Weakness and a lack of self-confidence.

So I have taken to the sometimes trustworthy internet, to see what I could find on this topic.

The first thing I read was this:

“Jealousy is typically considered a negative emotion, but it can be a compelling motivator for self-growth, and reinforce the connections that matter most to you.

Jennifer Freed, Ph.D.

I have been so focused on feeling guilty about being jealous, I have completely turned my eyes from trying to look at this from a different, more positive view. Instead of working on myself or my relationships, I have tried to distance myself, in hope, of also distancing myself from this emotion.

I would never say jealousy is on the good end of emotions because I think people end up doing and thinking more negative things when they feel this way, but I definitely think instead of feeling bad about this feeling, we can use it as a tool to step back, reflect and work on ourselves.

Here are some ways we can use jealousy in a positive way:

  1. It allows you to see the different attachments you have to people and brings to light what you cherish in that relationship and how you may be taking it for granted.
  2. If you allow it, it can be a great tool for self-reflection. For example: Why am I feeling like this and how can I improve myself to help me let go of this feeling? Jealousy often stems from an inner insecurity or insufficient sense of self-worth.
  3. Jealousy can help filter out overly competitive and toxic relationships.
  4. Acknowledge these feelings. Often when we choose to ignore them, we are shutting the door on self-reflection and self-growth. A friends success is great motivation to build our own success.
  5. Use this emotion to focus and concentrate on all the positive things you have in your life.
  6. Quite often (not always) the things we get jealous over are materialistic. Remind yourself that these are just ‘things’. These things aren’t what’s most important in the long run. It’s the relationships and memories we make, that are the most important.
  7. Concentrate on your happiness. Often people tend to be more jealous when they aren’t happy with themselves. Make a list of all the positive things you have going on in your life, surround yourself with people that you pick you up and do the things you love to do.
  • Ask yourself what you are feeling and if you want to feel this way.
  • If you do not want to feel this way, take some deep breaths and focus on the emotion you want to feel instead.
  • Make the choice to feel the way that you want to feel.
  • For example, if you want to feel happiness, focus on being happy, identify what makes you happy, and maintain a positive mental attitude.

Lindsay Oliver 

Owning your jealousy is the first step and will be the most difficult one, but once you do it, you can move on from there and grow from that feeling. In the past, I’ve gotten caught up in the idea that jealousy is bad and I am a bad person for feeling it. This is not true. Everyone feels jealous over something. Instead of feeling bad about it, we can instead use it as a tool for growth.

-A